What You Need to Know
The outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus, known as COVID-19, is cause for concern but not panic. The UVM Health Network Porter Medical Center is working with the Vermont State Health Department and our Network colleagues to coordinate our preparedness efforts based upon guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Our highest priority remains providing safe, quality care for all of our patients.
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Porter’s COVID-19 testing site is able to expand our Algorithm for Screening/Testing Patients for Coronavirus to include any patients who are symptomatic, aligning with the recommendations made by the Vermont Department of Health.
As a reminder, access to testing will continue to be altered based on availability of laboratory supplies and equipment. We may need to adjust outpatient testing criteria to conserve supplies in order to maintain the ability to test our sickest patients, specifically those who require hospital-based care. We will communicate any changes in as close to real-time as possible.
The testing site will be open every weekday from 10am-3pm to accommodate the anticipated increase in testing requests.
Saturday the testing site will be available from 11am-1pm (with triage starting at 8am). We will not be open on Sunday and request that any non-acute testing needs identified on Saturday afternoon or Sunday wait until Monday.
As we continue to expand in-person services and Governor Scott loosens some restrictions, Porter- in coordination with UVM Health Network hospitals will test all patients (regardless of symptoms) for COVID-19 as part of the hospital admission process and prior to scheduled surgeries.
We will continue to test everyone who has symptoms. These guidelines apply to those who do not have symptoms. The guidelines change frequently as we understand more about this virus.
POP-UP TESTING SITES
Any person without symptoms who lives or works in Vermont can be tested at a VT Department of Health pop-up testing site without a doctor’s referral. This includes people who live in a neighboring state and work in Vermont, second homeowners, and college students. Registration for testing is required. For people who do not have internet access and want to register at a pop-up site, they can call 2-1-1 for help with registration. Register for a pop-up testing site.
In compliance with CARES Act we are required to post the cash price of the COVID-19 diagnostic lab test. The cash price for the COVID-19 diagnostic lab test at Porter is $102.00. For more information please contact Patient Financial Services.
Updated Visitation Policy and Procedures
There have been important updates made to the Porter Medical Center Restricted Visitation policy and procedures to minimize patients/staff exposure to COVID-19.
Please review our current visitation policy here.
Telehealth visits, new check-in process and changes within the office, click here to see how our Pediatric Primary Care office is working to provide safe care to your little ones as we plan for re-entry.
Our pediatricians recommend the resources available on HealthyChildren.org. Including Parenting in a Pandemic, Working & Learning, Getting Outside, Masks for Kids, New Baby Challenges, Disinfectant Safety and Breastfeeding.
N95, Hand Sewn Masks and Other Donations
We have been so grateful for our community’s outpouring of support in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please visit our COVID-19 Response Page for directions on how you can donate N95 and hand sewn masks, and support our staff and patients in a variety of ways.
What to do if you or someone you are close to are diagnosed with COVID-19
If you are dianosed with COVID-19 please follow these instructions from the Vermont Department of Health.
If you are a close contact of someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19 please follow these instructions from the Vermont Department of Health.
Preventing the Spread
REMEMBER! If you have a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, call your primary care office first to speak to a provider. In the case of an emergency, please do not hesitate to seek care. Porter remains committed to caring for our community
Remaining at home may be the best option for the majority of our community members who get sick and our Porter practices will be adjusting patient schedules and reaching out to our Porter patients with information about upcoming appointments.
Basic preventive practices are those that we should be using all the time:
Clean your hands frequently – use portable alcohol hand sanitizer and wash your hands before you eat. Don’t touch your face. Avoid crowded spaces. Avoid traveling to countries the CDC has highlighted as having widespread, sustained transmission. Social distancing is something that will become increasingly more important –schools, conferences and other organized activities will need to consider this on a case-by-case basis.
If you’re sick, stay home. Clean your hands. Wash high-use surfaces every day. If you’ve been in a place where the virus is circulating, call your primary care doctor to get advice. Do not go to Porter Express Care or the Emergency Department to be evaluated for Coronavirus, but please do come if you need urgent medical help.
The symptoms are a cough, fever and shortness of breath. The symptoms are similar to the flu.
If you’re sick, stay home, practice vigilant hand hygiene, and cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. If you are experiencing cough, fever or shortness of breath, call your primary care office first to speak to a provider.
Call your doctor’s office and describe your symptoms. They will be able to advise you on next steps.
If you recently came back from traveling and now have a cough. The first thing you should do is call your doctor’s office and describe your symptoms. There is a lot of flu and cold going around, and the symptoms are similar. We don’t want you to go to the Emergency Department or Urgent Care to be screened or tested—only if you have an urgent medical need.
We Are Ready
At Porter Medical Center, we are committed to caring for our community safely while responding to the demands created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Porter has developed new and creative local responses in keeping with established clinical guidelines. For example, when you call one of our local medical practices for information or an appointment, your needs will be assessed over the phone by our clinical staff. At the time of that call, you may be offered a visit in your usual practice, a telemedicine visit from your home, or to be seen in a different Porter practice set up to care for your particular concern.
Be assured that we are ready to care for you in a number of safe settings within our organization. We realize that this may be an adjustment and could create some inconvenience for some. Please know that we are doing this to best serve our patients safely and efficiently. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility. Our commitment is to your health.
We are keeping our employees up-to-date with a daily newsletter. Please note many links will not work due to this being an internal document.
Get the facts. Here are link to some helpful resources to keep you informed on the Coronavirus.
Food Resource Guide
Individuals and organizations alike are facing new challenges surrounding food access during the COVID19 pandemic. This handout provides information on accessing food during this time. Circumstances of organizations can change quickly and may not be reflected in this handout. For the most up to date information, please contact 2-1-1 Vermont, or call the organizations directly.